Project information

The Old Vic Community Company

The Old Vic Community Company will give people of all ages and from all backgrounds the opportunity to become part of London’s largest inclusive theatre company. The project will provide participants with a platform to explore shared social issues and equip them with theatre skills.

3 years with funding being sought for the first year

Charity information: The Old Vic Theatre Trust 2000

The Old Vic Theatre Trust 2000 logo
  • Need


    Increasing costs of living coupled with growing unemployment and segregated neighborhoods have become an ever stronger feature of cosmopolitan life in recent years. There is a growing frustration in many facets of society and few outlets for thinkers and doers to get involved and effect change. We want to create an inclusive community company to develop theatre and life skills and engagement through ambitious community productions that have a profoundly positive effect on those taking part.


    Building on the successes of large scale community productions covering a wide variety of topics such as shared heritage, ethical consumerism, globalization, inner-city life and health and wellbeing, Old Vic New Voices will step up the game by launching London’s largest inclusive community theatre company. We will connect the most talented and outspoken individuals from all walks of life, who want to make a difference to their community.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Create workshops, bootcamps, pop-up performances and the theatre production, HOUSED in year 1.


    » Employ 2 Community Activists to connect more individuals to our work and identify and work with 10 diverse, brand new writers with raw talent.
    » Work with 500 individuals exploring topics through theatrical ‘bootcamps’ and include them in the research phase of a new production about housing.
    » Rehearse HOUSED, performed and produced by the first 20 members of the company and up to 15 members of the community to learn backstage skills.
    » Commission a COMPANY HANDBOOK of how we connect with our community and offer bi-monthly drop-in sessions.

    What success will look like

    Success will be achieved by imparting skills, producing great work, increasing wellbeing and involving participants new to the theatre and the Arts.

  • Impact


    The project will connect diverse individuals as friends and colleagues, expanding social networks. Through increased drama and life skills, physical activity, meaningful social interaction and enhanced feelings of empowerment we will substantially improve the participants’ wellbeing. We will make what is normally invisible, visible; Our performances will show you people you don’t normally see on TV screens or on the stage: it’s what London really looks like, what Britain really looks like.


    Some of the participants while being enthusiastic about getting involved may find it difficult to dedicate the time and resource that is required to be an active member of the company. Our experience in working with volunteer casts and creative teams and a successful history of community engagement and large-scale productions means that we are optimally placed to give guidance and support so that each member of the company gets the most out of their experience while acquiring new skills.


    Donors will receive email updates and a full summary at the end of the first year of the project (and if they decide to support further also for the following years). We will invite donors to observe selected workshops and drop-in sessions as well as the finished performance of HOUSED.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £86,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £37,000 Professional fees Project management, community writers, R&D
      £15,000 Project costs Space/equipment hire etc.
      £10,000 Marketing Recruitment of participants
      £9,000 Pop-up events Three events in various locations
      £5,000 Filming Documentation of the process
      £5,000 Evaluation External evaluation and resource packs
      £5,000 Overheads Contingency and fixed costs
  • Background


    The London Community Company will be based at The Old Vic, The Cut, Waterloo, in the intersection of two diverse London boroughs, Southwark and Lambeth. We will open up our meeting rehearsal and performance spaces for the company’s drop-in sessions, workshops, rehearsals and boot camps and activities will also take place at community centres in Vauxhall, New Cross, Streatham and Brixton as well as at The Clapham Community Project, a creative lab space secured by OVNV and offered for free.


    London’s Community Company will be diverse in terms of skills, background, experience, ethnicity, age, profession and above all inclusive with anyone over the age of 16 welcome to contribute. The community company will be made up of activists, researchers, spokespeople, artists, seekers and leaders. Through increased physical activity, meaningful social interaction and enhanced feelings of empowerment we will substantially improve their wellbeing and offer a platform for expressing their views.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have proven our abilities in delivery of community engagement. In 2012 OVNV received an award from The Royal Society for Public Health for an Outstanding and Innovative Contribution to Arts and Health Practice for community musical EPIDEMIC. Our methods have achieved greater wellbeing amongst those participating in our projects, with 87% of EPIDEMIC participants noting improved well-being after project completion and almost 40% reporting they had never taken part in an arts project before.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Steve Winter

    Director of Old Vic New Voices

    Alexander Ferris

    OVNV Head of Community